The $4.2 million Vernon Street Streetscape Improvement Project began in February 2002 and was completed in October 2002.
The eight block beautification project is designed to create an attractive, friendly, and safe street for downtown customers, business and community events.
Vernon Street had become a non-descript street and had lost much of its charm and commercial allure over the years. The streetscape project enveloped the street with a new charm through the addition of new street trees that will grow to provide a beautiful shade canopy over the sidewalk. The streetscape also features early 1900s-style streetlights, benches and trash receptacles, ornamental trees, new bus shelters and gateways over the street.
The streetscape design was an intense effort spread over four years. The process included extensive meetings with city departments and the public to ensure there was buy-in from all stakeholders. The design team, brought together by project architect Dave Piches, included Ball & Gee (landscaping), Morton & Pitalo (Civil Engineering), and Fehr & Peers (Transportation).
The project design team faced many design challenges, particularly with respect to meeting the goal of calming the flow of traffic and making the street more pedestrian friendly. Nevertheless, after countless meetings and three public forums, the Vernon Streetscape design was completed. The project was put out to bid and the contract was awarded to Granite Construction in January 2002.
Streetscape construction began in February 2002. From the beginning the project had intense time lines to meet due to a celebration schedule in May 2002 for the Civic Center opening. The project encountered challenges along the way, but the construction team, design team and city staff did an excellent job of keeping the project on schedule.
Constant communication with the merchants on the street allowed the businesses to anticipate and adjust their schedules accordingly. A great deal of work went into providing additional signage, pedestrian walkways and access accommodations for businesses during construction. It is notable that the area also hosted a 4th of July Fun Run and parade and Downtown Tuesday Nights, while construction was fully underway, to encourage business along the street.
There are many reasons why revitalizing Downtown Roseville is important, but the most important one is the significance Downtown Roseville plays in the overall health and prosperity of the city, community and region. Roseville joins cities throughout the nation that are recognizing the importance of preserving, restoring and investing in their downtowns. When a city loses its core, it forfeits part of its history, relinquishes its potential and leaves a visual scar on the community.
The City Council, the Central Roseville Revitalization Committee and the community have made a commitment to revitalizing Downtown Roseville. The Civic Center renovation and Vernon Street Streetscape are two projects that make the commitment of transforming the area into a more vibrant and vital commercial center a reality.